“Hey Neighbor, Do You Still Love Jesus?” – Reprint from May 2011

Luke 10:25-29

 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus.  “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your strength and with all you mind and, Love your neighbor as yourself.

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

 

Recently, our neighbor of thirty (30) years went home to be with the Lord. Due to illness and work schedule, neither Frank nor I was able to attend his funeral.  However, not a day has passed since his death that I’ve not thought of his family and pray for God to continue to provide them with comfort and strength during their bereavement.

 Our neighbor was a very special man who lived out his life as a witness and soul-winner for Jesus Christ.

 Before his illness, when our paths crossed, my neighbor talked about the goodness of God.  If he didn’t have the time, or sensed that I didn’t, he’d simply yell, “Hey neighbor, do you still love Jesus?”  This robust greeting has become a way for me to evaluate the status of my personal relationship with God.  As each day brings changes in our health, wealth, and personal situations it’s good to ask ourselves during these times, do we still love Jesus?

My neighbors’ family, church, and friends may never know the impact he had on my spiritual growth, but I wanted to pass on to you his way of evaluating your relationship with God by asking, “Hey neighbor, do you still love Jesus?”

 Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for those Christians who have remained faithful to you as they’ve invited others into a love relationship with you.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

All Scripture from NIV Study Bible, The Zondervan Corporation, 1995

Summary of Ruth – “God Grants the Wishes of a Prostitute”

Rahab:

  • Joshua 2, 6:22-28, Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25, Matthew 1:5

As we conclude our study of the book of Ruth, we now realize that the wishes of the prostitute, Rahab were finally granted. What’s the connection, you might ask? Rahab, the prostitute, was the mother of Boaz (Matthew 1:5), who is the kinsman-redeemer in the book of Ruth.

If we travel back in time to after Moses’ death, we find, a newly commissioned Joshua (Joshua 1:1-5), and Moses’ army. God prepares this army to fight to conquer the city of Jericho (Joshua 1:6-11), which was their entrance to the Promised Land. Jericho is where Rahab and her family lived. We’d long ago forgotten about her, we certainly had no idea that she’d have any other significance in Bible history other than helping Joshua’s spies. However, God uses Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz to grant the wishes of Rahab, for the protection of her family. While it’s true that Rahab was a prostitute, did we discount the fact that she was a business woman. Though we may not agree with the product she was marketing, it helps to remind us that God can and does use anybody He sees fit to use. After all He’s using us to spread His message of His unconditional love and acceptance of all who believe in Him.

Rahab knew men, and she instantly knew the difference between the desires of the King of Jericho and his men, and this God she’d heard about and His men (Joshua’s spies). She was probably intrigued that the spies only wanted safe shelter, a place to sleep, and an escape route from her. They were not like most of the men who came to her house.

Being a business woman, she saw the opportunity to get something from these spies, after all she was risking her life to save them.

She’d heard that the spies’ God had caused the Israelites to escape Pharaoh by making a dry highway just for them through the Red Sea, and not one Israelite soul was lost by drowning. Yet, when Pharaoh’s army pursued them onto that dry seabed they and their horses drowned when God released the water (Exodus 14:26). She had encountered lots of men in her business dealings, becoming rich enough to support herself and her family. These men, however, were obedient to their God, who protected His people in a way that Rahab was unaccustomed to. She felt that she could help these men and trust their God to save her family in the destruction that would surely come. The spies enter into a contract with Rahab to save all who were in her house (Joshua 2:17-24).

We see God’s hand as He rescues Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz to make them into a family. We see Rahab honored in the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:5). Ruth and Boaz are honored as the great-grandparents of David.

Let’s take a fresh look at how God has salvaged our families today. Encourage each member by your example, to love God with their heart, soul, and mind.

Reverend Glenda Brunson

Don’t Complicate Prayer with Details by Rev. Frank Brunson

 

Mark 11:23-24

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

               Often we make statements of absolute which have qualifiers that are never mentioned at the time the statement is made. In most cases the qualifiers are not mentioned because they simply ruin the sentiment expressed.  For instance the use of the phrase “I like that” usually has elements of qualification unexpressed. We may like our jobs, but there are task, schedules and even coworkers that we hold with less favor. We like our homes, but there is always work to do there which takes time from more desirable activities. We like to shop at certain stores, but they never have the right prices for our budget when want to make our purchases.

                In the case of the verses above we find the same circumstances. Prayer has qualifiers, in other words it has exceptions and details of applications to situations.  However, no details and applications are mentioned in the Scriptural reference given, because details would simply ruin the understanding of the heart of prayer.

                When we go to God in prayer we should always remember; Prayer has unlimited power, Prayer take unlimited faith and Prayer is based on unlimited love for others.  The heat of prayer has no limitations. It can’t be contained. It has no boundaries, because it is connected in a relationship to God, in the Spirit of obedience to God’s Holy Will.

               Power, Faith and Love are simply expressed elements of our belief in Christ Jesus. He didn’t complicate the details, why should we?